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Home Design For the Senses

When decorating interiors, homeowners most often rely on their sense of sight to gauge how attractive a room is. Most, however, forget that there are four other senses that the human body uses and these are as important as sight. The best and most comprehensive room designs are those that are able to engage all five senses and create a space that’s best experienced and not just seen.

Sight is where most homeowners and designers start decorating, mostly because it’s the quickest and easiest way to judge how a room appears. There are two ways to visually engage a person – with colors and with shapes. While solid colors are the safer choice for decorating a room, colors that contrast with or complement each other make a room seem much more interesting. At the same time, mixing up shapes and playing with proportion can give a room personality and character. They’re effective enough on their own, but the best visual effect comes from using shapes and colors in harmony.

Auditory senses should also be engaged by the ideal home. And while a stereo system or a television could provide sounds, none of those sounds say anything about a room. Compare that to, say, the tinkling of wind chimes hung from a window or the gurgling of a small fountain in a corner. Either of those two sounds help set the mood of the room and give the space its own ambiance.

Your sense of smell, which is itself closely related to the sense of taste, is one of the most overlooked of all the senses. Believe it or not, the olfactory senses are some of the easiest to engage when it comes to decorating a room. A set of scented candles will already be enough to generate some interest with a visitor’s nose. Add a pot of potpourri or a small pot of heated aromatherapy oils to enhance the experience and reinforce the ambiance that you want to achieve in the room. You could even combine sight and smell together with, say, a bowl of fresh ripe oranges as a centerpiece for the dining table.

Touch is a very strong sensory element and shouldn’t be overlooked in your design. Your skin can sometimes pick up messages that can’t be sent through any other sensory pathway, so your design should hold something interesting for the sense of touch as well. Mix up textures with curtains, throw pillows, various fabrics and the like. Different materials often feel very different to the touch, so try to incorporate a whole range of materials when designing the room so that guests will be curious enough to explore your little world of textures themselves.

Your floor, in particular, is a great place to add textures because it’s most often left as an unbroken and smooth expanse of wood, tile or cement. A simple rug should solve that little issue by breaking up both the texture and the color, giving your floor a whole different look and shape. Whether you plan to use rich and plush rugs or rough ones with short threads, they add a whole new dimension to what would otherwise be a boring room.

Home Design or Decor

It is said that creativity is best unleashed in your own space. ‘Own space’ means your home or apartment or the space that you use for your living.

There are any numbers of options for homeowners to design and decorate their homes, whether apartments or individual structures set within a boundary. One of the many challenges an apartment owner faces is the curb on redesigning or painting, especially if the apartment is on lease and not owned entirely.

However, there are limitless creative options that the human mind can think up, as ideas to design homes in traditional methods as well as simple eco-friendly methods that serve as alternatives to traditional and conventional design schemes.

One of the traditional ways to decorate a home is by painting it in colors and schemes to match with interior décor of each room or living space. Painting walls is usually done by paint contractors and laborers who charge exorbitant rates for painting. Most home owners like their walls to take on different hues; their home plans include different paint colors and paint styles for different areas of the house – the porch, living or drawing, kitchen, master bedroom, library, children’s bedroom, attic, spare room etc. Thematic colors and designs are increasingly being offered by paint manufacturers in keeping with the changing times.

If you have a home contractor who has the time and inclination to suggest new ideas and to make your home painting an interesting way to spend your energy, it is the best option by far, as it will not only reduce your costs by also give you a sense of ultimate satisfaction when you see end results.

Some people, however, look for alternative ways and means to add variety and color to homes. These choices can be used instead of resorting to regular home painting, and add that special touch to give a ‘home feel’ to your living space.

Some effective alternatives

There are many alternatives to choose from, but some of the most widely used choices are:

i. Painted furniture – furniture in vibrant colors can take away the focus from the walls

ii. Rugs – easy maintenance rugs and carpets woven around a theme or design work well to add warmth to a room

iii. Curtain and drapes – treating windows with designer drapes completely change the look of a room. By choosing the right colors and designs, they can make the windows look larger

iv. All weather furniture – for outdoor places and for bathrooms, placing a chair or stool in bright color adds depth and cheer

v. Pillows and cushions – these are sure-shots in changing the décor of living spaces completely. The use of different colors and shapes adds great deal of color to your drawing room or bedroom

vi. Lighting – Good lighting choices, especially with dimmers and shades provide layered lighting effects on walls and surfaces. Floor lamps, table lamps and wall lamps can be used in different parts of the house to take away the starkness of white light.

vii. Mirrors – Movable, ornate mirrors in different shapes with intricate workmanship on the frames, when placed in vantage positions, appear to make room space larger or smaller as needed. The added advantage of mirrors is that they can be used in any location as they are movable.

viii. Flowering plants – it is hard to imagine a home interior without flowering plants. With the onus of eco-friendly living, many homeowners opt to place plants and shrubs that repel insects and add fresh odor to the insides of a home

Creating a Feng Shui Home Design

Probably the best application of feng shui is the use of the concepts in your home. According to these concepts outlined in feng shui philosophy, this is a big step towards creating healthy lifestyle.

Feng shui can be used to get your house is in order and to ultimately make it a sanctuary where you feel de-stressed and relaxed. Further, it is claimed that it will literally set your life up for greater wealth, happiness, and even romance.

The basics are just that, basic. The primary focus should be on how your house looks and feels upon approach. This includes the outer décor and landscaping, as much as it does the interior.

Let’s go over the main functional areas

Outside

The outside of your home should be set up for a positive chi, as it has many impacts on your health. Some tips include making sure your address is clearly visible from the street and getting rid of any dead brushes, shrubs and flowers. Keeping them there indicates that your wealth will die.
Keep the yard clear from any clutter and trim any overgrown plants throughout the yard. This follows the ideas that a clean and organized area allows you to feel harmony upon entrance to the home.
Light the walkway to your door at night, as it will light the way to your wealth and prosperity for years to come.

Family Room

The family room is where everyone comes together and is considered the heart of the home. Thus, is important to make sure it is comfortable and cheerful. Aim to satisfy the needs of those that may be visiting as well as you own needs in your design. Either way, it should be free of excess clutter, which will allow Chi to flow naturally throughout the room.
Keep plenty of natural light in the room and accentuate that light with a color scheme that reflects your own personality, while promoting a natural positive chi. Don’t use harsh colors or colors that contrast your other decorations and furniture. Soft pastels are always good. Before making a final decision on color, understand their symbolic definitions.

Red = happiness
Yellow = authority
White = purity
Green = longevity
Blue = heavenly blessings

Bedrooms

The master bedroom should be as far away from the front door as possible, for the security of the homeowner. The foot of the bed should not be placed so that the occupant’s feet face a doorway. This is a negative since this is the way the deceased are carried from a room. Part of the bed should always touch a wall because it helps people feel more stable.
As with all rooms, color is important. The color of the bedroom should reflect tranquility and relaxation. One shouldn’t compromise their sleep by using too vibrant of a color. It is also recommended to use lower lighting in your bedroom, which can be accomplished simply by lowering the wattage of your light bulbs.

Dining Room

The dining room should be close to the kitchen and in the corner of a home to promote the gathering of chi. The seating should be set so that everyone can talk to each other easily. Round or octagon tables are the best choice. A round table is said to be good because it symbolizes stability.
When arranging furniture in the dining room ensure that chairs do not restrict doorways. There should be ample space for guests to walk around the table without having to maneuver around chairs or other furniture.
If your dining room has no windows a chandelier or a ceiling fan will assist the flow of Chi. Always use soft even lighting in the dining room as well as soft colors such as shades of green or yellow.

Bathroom

The bathroom represents homeowner’s finances, so it should be set up appropriately. Ideally, the bathroom should not be visible from the front door or to close to the kitchen. It should be clean, well lit, and well ventilated. Proper ventilation allows the negative sha energy to be relieved quickly, allowing the positive chi to remain.

Kitchen

In the kitchen, the placement of the stove and sink are the most important. The stove should be positioned so a person using doesn’t have their back facing a doorway. The chef needs to be able to focus and not be surprised.
The sink represents water, so it should not be side by side with he stove, which represents fire. Typically, a well placed mirror should alleviate any design issues you face.
There should be ample room to work around the sink and stove. They should be kept clean and work well to encourage favorable family finances.
Good lighting and ventilation by the stove will reduce the influence of Sha, as will painting the kitchen white. White symbolizes purity and promotes good health.
Using Feng Shui methods around your home is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Everyone has their own needs, and everyone’s tastes are different. The bottom line for you is to follow the guiding principles and make your designs work.

With a little feng shui, anyone can improve their health and their outlook on life. However, it should be an understood that a healthy diet and regular exercise should also be incorporated into any healthy living resolution.